Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Gesnid limestone specialist

A rather interesting Paraboea from the steep limestone karst of Southern Thailand.

The rosette of hirsute leaves is vegetatively similar to the one I had previously posted except that the flowers are larger and the cymes are less branched.

Paraboeas are specialised limestone plants that are fully adapted to the free draining substrate and bright light. Some of them can be tree-like but generally they are small to mid size plants. They are closely related to Boea, both having hairy leaves but differing in the hairs being simple for Boea and cobweb-like in Paraboea. As a general guide, those that has white or silvery reflective leaves grow in the most exposed places while those with green leaves require some shade. As you can see from the next 2 photos, they have resurrection abilities - tolerating extreme drought by rolling up the leaves and shrivelling and reviving once water becomes available again.

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